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Motor Show  Room to spare: A number of long-wheelbase models were shown off at Auto China 2016, including the Audi A4 L.

Room to spare: A number of long-wheelbase models were shown off at Auto China 2016, including the Audi A4 L.

China-only long-wheelbase models revealed to Beijing punters


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THE Chinese market's penchant for cars with ample legroom has been highlighted at the Beijing motor show, with a number of brands revealing long-wheelbase versions of models that will be available exclusively in China.

European marques including Jaguar, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz all recognised the potential for extra sales in China and have subsequently stretched models that are otherwise sold across the world.

Audi took its A4 mid-size sedan and stretched its wheelbase a conservative 40mm to create the A4 L, ensuring its rear legroom is not far off that of its larger A6 or A8 sibling.

The A4 L will be paired with Audi's 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, and will be offered in two states of tune – either 140kW/320Nm or 185kW/370Nm for those looking for more punch.

The A4 L's unladen vehicle weight is lower than that of the standard model, undercutting it by as much as 110kg.

BMW has unexpectedly given its X1, the smallest SUV in its stable, the long-wheelbase treatment by stretching it in all directions.

The X1 Long Wheelbase has grown 80mm in length, 20mm in width and 40mm in height to create a more accommodating interior space.

It will be sold in two- and four-wheel-drive guise, and will be powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine offered in a range of tunes.

The exception engine-wise is the base level sDrive18Li, which will employ BMW's diminutive turbo three-cylinder petrol unit pumping out 100kW of power.

Mercedes-Benz has expanding its long-wheelbase range with the reveal of the the LWB E-Class, which made its debut in standard guise in January at the Detroit motor show.

The stretched saloon out of Stuttgart adds 140mm of length over the standard version, and adds features such as a touchpad in the rear armrest for operating the infotainment system, and ambient lighting with 64 colour settings.

Daimler AG board member Hubertus Troska said the long-wheelbase E-Class was developed specifically for Chinese customers.

“We very carefully developed the new long-wheelbase version of the E-Class to suit the preferences of our Chinese customers. 'Made in China, for China' is more than lip service for us,” he said.

And Jaguar has also shown a long-wheelbase version of its recently-released XF luxury sedan.

Just like the E-Class, the XF has grown 140mm in length, adding 157mm of rear legroom.

It also includes a rear entertainment package that comes with two 8.0-inch screens set in the front headrests, as well as rear massage chairs, electric side blinds and four-zone climate control.

It will be offered with three powertrain choices, including a four-cylinder turbo-petrol developing either 147kW or 177kW, or a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 good for 250kW.

As GoAuto has previously reported, another long-wheelbase model shown at Beijing was the Bentley Mulsanne EWB First Edition, a version of Bentley's top-spec luxury limousine that will be produced in a limited run of just 50 examples.

Motor Show  Room to spare: A number of long-wheelbase models were shown off at Auto China 2016, including the Audi A4 L.

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